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Old 14-09-2018, 22:12   #1
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Boat Show Specials or Sales

For you Boat Show veterans... Do most of the vendors offer "Boat Show Specials" or Sale Prices on gear? Are there significant deals to be had at the Boat Show vs. Retail / Online ?
I've heard about shoes.... what about electronics, weather gear">Foul Weather Gear, quality binoculars, etc?
Curious if any cost savings available at the Show make it more enticing to attend.

Thanks
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Old 15-09-2018, 00:42   #2
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

I bought quite a few things at the boat show with a good discount.

My watermaker, wind generator, solar panels and controlers to name a few.

The boat show in Dusseldorf.
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Old 15-09-2018, 03:32   #3
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

As with most things in cruising, the answer is: It depends…

We saved big bucks on some major purchases when we were outfitting our boat. Autopilot, dingy, foulies, stove, head, and tons of smaller stuff like blocks and line. So yes, the discounts can be real. Best to aim your purchasing for the last day or days of the show; vendors hate to haul stock away, and are more open to negotiation.

That said, unless the show is in your home town, the costs of travel, food and lodging can easily eat up your savings.

Many vendors will offer “boat show prices” on items they are selling at the boat shows to everyone, including online shoppers. This can be your best deal if you know what you need.

One thing I’ve been able to do is get vendors into a bidding war on larger items. If there is an item being retailed by multiple vendors, a boat show makes it easy for you to run back and forth to get them to outbid each other.

So … it depends.
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Old 15-09-2018, 03:38   #4
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

Never been to a boat show, however I have gotten Boat show pricing online often
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Old 15-09-2018, 04:32   #5
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

We have done both - purchase items at the boat show and received the “boat show discount “ on line or by phone. We bought a lot at the Annapolis boat show. We purchased all of our Simrad electronics, LED lights, many items from Sailrite, headsets by Cruising Solutions, Autohelm wind vane, life raft, two Technautics refrigeration systems, and a lot of smaller items.

We had a lot to buy, and the savings made up for the cost of the trip. Plus, the ability to meet so many vendors, ask questions, and head-to-head comparisons was an invaluable experience.

Cheers!

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Old 15-09-2018, 10:07   #6
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

Buying boat stuff is just like buying anything else...you should have a list of items your in the market for and check prices (Internet) before going to the show so you know what the price range is. I have found some good deals but I have also seen sale prices that were actually everyday prices on the Internet. Buying something not on your list is a roll of the dice.

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Old 15-09-2018, 12:01   #7
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

I once bought a 6 gal hot water heater at boat show, supposedly saved $100, after the boat show the retailer had it for sale for $150 off in their store. I protested and they gave me the post show price. Never shopped at the boat show or that retailer again, he is now out of business. Buyer beware.
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Old 15-09-2018, 18:44   #8
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

Just went to the Newport Boat Show and got some great Gil foul weather gear around 35% off best prices I could find on the net. In that case going early was better because it was for on-hand inventory only.

Also got a life raft for $800 off but that really works out to only $400 off best internet price or a bit more than 10%. Otherwise other items I was shopping for had “discounts” no better than prices at places like Defender (such as ResumeMe SART, SpinLock vests, and EPIRBs)
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Old 15-09-2018, 19:02   #9
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

+1 on the Gill at Team One / Newport show. Balmar has a good discount going too. The Balmar booth sent me to Cay a few booths down to make the purchase.

We always ask for Boat Show discounts this time of year. Sometimes you get a deal. Sometimes not so much.
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Old 15-09-2018, 20:25   #10
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

Saved $1000 on a water maker. Show pricing on many things can be quite good.
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Old 16-09-2018, 19:32   #11
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

I got some great pricing on new Raymarine electronics at my local boat show. Better than any ‘sales’. What helped was the vendor offered a show price plus the manufacturer offered rebates which were only valid during the boat show season.
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Old 17-09-2018, 04:17   #12
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

I got some great deals at Defender's annual clearance event when I was fitting out my current boat.
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Old 17-09-2018, 10:46   #13
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

Second for Defender annual sale. got allot of stuff there including our dingy and motor.
Boat show is still fun for seeing whats out there and talking to vendors. got a few good deals including foulies.
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Old 17-09-2018, 20:01   #14
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

Thanks,
I appreciate everyone's responses.
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Old 28-09-2018, 18:58   #15
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Re: Boat Show Specials or Sales

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I got some great deals at Defender's annual clearance event when I was fitting out my current boat.
Defender Annapolis Boat Show sale just started today, and runs thru the 15th. For something you plan to purchase at the boat show, you might want to check their price first.

https://www.defender.com/
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